“Everything is different at home, I can’t buy my favourite authentic Russian cottage cheese here, I can’t find Red October chocolates or try Granny’s amazing marinated cabbage (the taste of my childhood)”. Do you sometimes compare your home to your new Australian home and become a little sad?
This is a normal reaction, especially if this is your first trip on your own. But even if you’re an avid traveller and have visited half the globe, homesickness can be overwhelming. Just don’t be shy. This is your home and country and it is normal that you will miss it.
Today I will share some tips on how I overcome homesickness.
1. Talk to your family
I noticed that some of my friends prefer to wait until they have overcome the sad feeling before calling their friends or family from home, but, to be honest, I prefer to acknowledge that I really miss my family and give them a call and chat about my feelings.
I call them via Skype or FaceTime and we have long chats about everything. They show me my rabbit Bluebell (pic below), their new purchases, or tell me anything that has recently happened.
Technology is so advanced these days so using the camera makes the connection feel more like you are at home. It calms me down because I know that my family is safe and they will always be waiting for me.
2. Visit a local supermarket or shop for traditional food and gifts
There is nothing better for me to go to Woolloongabba to one of the Russian shops, Ruski Way and buy some Pelmeni or Zefir to treat myself after a busy week. Something that’s even better is to bring a friend and show them my culture. I find it really helpful and motivating to go with a friend who is interested in our culture, it always cheers me up!
3. Decorate your room like home
Many people are sensitive to change. You can’t carry the whole house with you, but you can make the place where you have to live look and feel like your home country.
When I moved to Brisbane, the first two months were very difficult because there were no things that I had in my room that reminded me about Russia. Over time I realised that I can actually change it. I asked my mum to send me some things from our house. It took about a month for them to arrive but it was worth the wait.
4. Don’t spend too much time on social media
When I arrived in Australia, I did not know many people, everything was new. That’s why I spent a lot of time on social media checking out friends and relatives because I wanted to know what’s going on in Russia and what my friends were doing when I wasn’t there. This made me feel sad because I wasn’t there to join in. It seems that social networks will help you, but in some cases, they will not.
Why? This can hinder your productivity, and you will think more about friends who are not with you and miss your family, which happened to me. There is nothing wrong with the fact that you want to share your news, but do not constantly disappear into social networks. It’s better to go for a walk and explore the new city that will become your second home, meet new people, and have fun!
Anyway, I know it’s tough to be away from home, but this will pass.
In my opinion, over time I’m sure that Brisbane will become your home away from home!!